The RIWA strives to make the quality of surface water of such a high level that natural purification is sufficient to produce perfect drinking water from it. In accordance with Article 7 of the Water Framework Directive, this means that the water quality should be further improved so that, in due course, the level of treatment can be reduced.

The high quality standard that drinking water must meet in Europe requires surface water to be protected from pollutants. This is because the purification technologies used to remove the pollutants present in the surface water are never 100% effective. And certain purification technologies can lead to new chemical conversion products. For this reason, the surface water should be contaminated as little as possible by substances that it does not contain naturally. To achieve this goal RIWA-Rhine, working with the IAWR, continually exerts its (political) influence to bring the importance of clean river water to the attention of politicians, governments and policy-makers in water management agencies and industry. It does this on behalf of the 4 member companies (Oasen, PWN, Vitens and Waternet), thus guaranteeing an efficient approach to common interests.

The RIWA considers the term ‘surface water’ to encompass rivers, all surface streams that flow directly or indirectly into the rivers, the lakes between the former coast and impoldered land and the IJsselmeer.